What is SMART goal setting?

Make Your Goals Smart

Setting goals is important, it is like your own personal bulls eye.   Without goals you could just run around in circles and never get anywhere.    It is crucial to make goals so that you don’t loose sight of where you are going.    

It is also crucial to make SMART goals.    If you are ready to make a change in your life and to start successfully achieving, learn how to achieve SMART goals.    What is SMART goal setting and why are SMART goals important?

Goals: Setting Your Life for Success

Goals give your life a vision and a direction.    It can, not only propel you forward, but take control of your life, make the right decisions and focus on what truly matters in your life.     With a goal, you will advance and make progress toward where you intend to go rather than get lost or waste time running in circles.

Goals can motivate and empower you.    With each successful achievement of objectives, your self-esteem will grow, knowing you’re a step closer to your goal.    Driven by your self-improvements and the progress in your life, you will believe in yourself more, feeling encouraged, enthusiastic, and confident.    With such positivity, you can transform your challenges, even the seemingly insurmountable mountains.

Knowing what you truly want in life, you will likely stay focused despite distractions.    Believing that you hold your destiny in your own hands, you will be accountable, not only for your successes, but your failures as well.     Thus, with goals, you can sail through life with a greater chance of success and live your life to the fullest.

Goal Setting: The SMART Way

If there is one thing “better” than just having plain goals, it is to set or make SMART goals. What is SMART goal setting? SMART is actually an acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I   t is a strategic tool first introduced by Peter Drucker, the originator of Management by Objectives (MBO).    It didn’t take long for success-driven experts to realize that anyone who knows how to achieve SMART goals can also apply it to their personal lives and goals.

Why are SMART goals important and how can you apply it in your everyday life? To experience the benefits of having SMART goals, you must imbibe it in your life. Your goals must be:

  • Specific: A goal that is specific can help you keep your focus your attention, time, efforts and resources. The more specific your goal is, the more likely it can be SMART. An example of an unspecific, unclear goal is “to be rich.” Its specific version could be “to earn $50,000 a month.”

To help you set SMART goals, be guided by the five “W” questions: What, Why, Who, Where and Which. In this example, you would want to know WHAT would be your source of income or alternatives. WHY do you want to earn that much? WHO are the people to work with? WHERE is the ideal place of business? WHICH resources must you put up start a business?

  • Measurable: Quantifying your progress is important to assess and monitor your activities, and to determine if you are moving forward, on a standstill or you are lagging. The knowledge can help you to reassess related activities and strategies, and to sustain, modify or change them accordingly. 

A measurable goal can further refine your goal. Measurable means having quantifiable evidence. Being healthy is not quantifiable, but losing weight from 200 to 120 pounds is. Make this goal measurable by asking: How much/how many pounds must I shed? Or how much/how many calories must I burn or just consume a day? How will I know that I am succeeding?

  • Achievable: Goals may sound ambitious, stretching your abilities like no other, but it should remain realistic and achievable. How would you know a goal is attainable? You must know what it will take for you to achieve a goal. If any or some of these are lacking or come in deficient amounts, you already know from the very start that your goal could be unachievable.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t aspire for a big goal. It only means that it could be a harder climb because you need to put in more. A well-laid, flexible plan and a good set of strategies can help answer the two questions you need to ask in order to bring in those elements that you don’t have.  How can I achieve this goal? Is the goal realistic?

  • Relevant: This ensures that your goal is important for you and that it is consistent or in alignment with your other goals. An unimportant goal can make you drift from it in the long run, but a relevant one can keep you striving, despite the odds.

If a goal matters in your life, you will be ready to make sacrifices, commit your skills, talents and time to its successful attainment. You will not hold back, even when the going gets tough. In this connection, you should ask questions, such as: Do I need to do this in relation to my other goals? Is accomplishing this worthwhile? Is the time right for me to do this?

  • Time-bound: Time is an irreplaceable resource, a commodity that’s convertible to money. Thus, losing and wasting time means losing and wasting money. It is irreplaceable or non-renewable. Once you lose it, you lost it forever. This is the very core of time in making SMART goals.

Specific and Measurable goals can be Achieved with more efficiency. If it is Relevant, you will be willing to direct your resources into it to attain your goal according to your plan. A time-bound goal should be able to answer: When must this activity start, be monitored and end? What can I do now? What must I do on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis?

Chasing goals can kill time. Setting SMART goals can help you succeed, but be conscious that it isn’t the only element of success. It also has limitations, making a path longer and more convoluted while racing against time. To make SMART goals, be flexible to make it work, but don’t let yourself be its slave.  Learn how to achieve SMART goals, and enjoy your successes as they come. Know what is SMART goal setting and why are SMART goals important, and be “hungry” enough to really want it to go for it. For more goal setting tips, visit: One Life by Design.